Employee Audits – Do You Know the Best Practices?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that employee wage and hour audits are on the rise. With the boom of shale companies entering the region earlier this decade, the pay practices of many businesses have been examined by Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.

According to Dan Doherty, Assistant District Director at the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division in Pittsburgh, “any industry patronized by oil and gas companies in the Marcellus and Utica shales” are under scrutiny.

The Post-Gazette reports, “Over the past three years, the department has investigated 395 companies in southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia, assessing more than $10 million in back wages, civil penalties and liquidated damages. Of that, it has collected more than $3 million.” And, “The number of firms audited by the Labor Department for such violations has gone up each year and is on pace to set a record high in 2015.”

What can companies do to try to be in compliance? Our Labor and Employment Practice Group has written several articles over the past few years that address all of these issues.

Carl Hellerstedt wrote two articles on how the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour enforcement is focusing on shale employers. He provides a list of several things employers can do when facing an ongoing initiative. Click here and here to read the details.

Additionally, Pete Rich outlines what employers can do when faced with a “Fair Day’s Pay” initiative. Click here to read that article.

If you have any questions regarding a Department of Labor audit, or any labor and employment law question, please contact us.

Congratulations to the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award Finalists

We would like to congratulate the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award finalists and the Young Professional Award recipients!

The ATHENA Awards recognizes exceptional women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community and help other women to succeed through mentorship. The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging leader age 35 or younger.

The Award finalists include:

  • Lynn M. Banaszak, Executive Director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Doris Carson Williams, President & Chief Executive Officer, African American Chamber of Commerce of Western PA
  • Lisa Lenihan, United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of PA
  • Rhonda Moore Johnson, Senior Medical Director of Health Equity & Quality Services, Highmark Inc.
  • Lucille Prater-Holliday, Founder, Black Women’s Empowerment Institute

The Young Professional Award recipients are:

  • Josie Badger, Youth Development Director, PEAL Center
  • Meredith Meyer Grelli, Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Wigle Whiskey
  • Aurora Sharrard, Vice President of Innovation, Green Building Alliance

It is particularly gratifying to see the 2015 ATHENA finalists were selected from a record number of nominees.

The 25th Annual ATHENA & Young Professional Awards Luncheon will be held Friday October 9 and is presented by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Click here for tickets and more information.

Best Place to Live in the Northeast is………

Pittsburgh.  According to Money Magazine, Pittsburgh’s two universities – University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon – help draw high technology companies. And that draw is exactly why people are finding Pittsburgh THE place to live right now.

Pittsburgh has focused on computer-related jobs. That field has grown twice the national average in the Steel City. And while unemployment rates are slightly higher than the national average, they are well below other industrial cities. With housing prices much lower than other big cities, Pittsburgh seems to have hit its stride.

What cities round out the top five? Check out Money Magazine’s article.